Did Rudy Giuliani do anything wrong in the new Borat movie?
Answered by: Dave Dunn,Professional Entertainer and Theatre worker
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR NEW BORAT FILM
So I've just watched the film. And I never thought I would side with Rudy, but the film is incredibly grey, and not as black and white as people think.
So briefly. The film shows Tutar (Borats “15 year old" daughter) interviewing Rudy for a fake TV show so she can try and sleep with him so Borat isn't executed. She acts coy and nervous, and there's some gentle flirting going on. Borat enters, upsetting Tutar so they stop the interview and go into the bedroom for a drink. We then get a few shots and then the highly publicised shot of Rudy with his hands down his pants before Borat enters in what can only be described as Pink Lingere, telling Rudy to sleep with Borat instead.
So how bad is it? Let's look at the drinking first. Does Rudy knowingly drink with a “minor"?
At no point do they in the film make out that Tutar is 15. In fact they let her drink with him which isn't frowned upon by any member of crew or mentioned by them. Considering the harsh punishments for under age drinking, plus the ramifications of plying an underage woman being a bad PR move it makes you think that he doesn't know her characters supposed age, nor did any of his production team- which for a 15 year old would be critical for safeguarding. Anyone who’s worked with minors in film/events will tell you the safeguards are so high and its so regulated to protect both the adults and kids involved. Everyone there would have believed she was a legal adult so you can't use the 15 year old thing against him as there is simply not enough evidence.
So the whole “drinking with a minor" thing doesn't stand too much scrutinisation, so let's look at the flirting. She does flirt with him on film, and he responds, but he is reasonably professional, but we don't see the full interview. Its all reasonably above board here. She then encourages him to go to the bedroom for a drink, leading him there.
This is where he goes wrong… Rudy should never have gone in that bedroom for that drink. Whether its flirting or whatever its a bad PR move and isn't professional. However he does and here is where it gets vague, and is clearly purposefully edited to be as vague as possible. The bedroom scene clearly has 2 “hidden cameras” and they are chosen to show the images the producers of the film want to create a story; that Rudy and Tutar about to have sex.
In the footage we first see Tutar struggling with her mic so Rudy helps her remove it. The way its positioned is by the back of her dress, so it looks naturally awkward. However she is still dressed during the scene and does not show anything overly sexual.
She then returns the favour, with the camera placed behind them to hide whats going on. It’s vague to see what is happening, but from the placement of the mic in the previous scene (plus her putting it on the table in the next shot) it appears she removed his mic for him.
Now for the pants thing. Optics wise it is very bad for Rudy on first glance. He is literally caught with his hands down his pants. Afterwards he claimed he was tucking his shirt in and I believe the footage does support that.
She does un-tuck his shirt (literally saying as she does it), and it does appear that he then lies down to tuck it back in. Some people think that's a silly way of doing it but I've worked with many older gentlemen who do a similar thing as its more effort to stand up, and you can't really tuck a shirt in while sitting. This is especially true for people Rudy's age, so it didn't surprise me that he tucked the shirt back in like that.
So as he tucks this shirt back in his hands do seem to readjust what is down there but before his hands can really linger there for an inappropriate time Borat stops him. We're then left with the image of Rudy with his hand in his pants while a “dad” busts in claiming she's 15. He immediately calls security and ends it.
So personally I don't think that this shows anything too inappropriate. Yes its bad that he goes into the bedroom for a flirty drink, and it isn't exactly upstanding, but the still of him with his hands down his pants is incredibly misleading and the footage does support Rudys claim. He’s stupid for doing it, stupid for getting caught in such an easy trap but in reality it’s probably not as bad as it could have been.
I put the scene on again as I was writing this and spotted that one of the cameras isn't hidden at all. In fact its very visible. Only a complete idiot would try and do anything sexual with someone- with a film grade camera in the room.
Its not even hard to see the camera is there - and positioned right at the bed. Only a fool would fall into a trap that obvious. I really doubt in this particular case Rudy would do anything inappropriate as the risks were just too high
In the end this whole scene was a plot device to tell the story, and poke fun at Rudy who is a known philanderer. This film doesn't show too much and leaves it to your imagination to fill in the gaps, but if you pay attention you can see what happened.
EDIT: As many commentators have mentioned, this footage in itself isn't that bad, in fact it's really tame. The real issue is that a senior person with close ties to the White House could be put into this situation so easily where pictures can be released of them in a compromising situation. Not by a government agent… but by a comedian. Now we're not quite at blackmail levels here, but this film really shows how easily this can be done, especially to people who are vulnerable to blackmail in power and its something we should be concerned about
Finally. Watch the film. Its a good film and a damning indictment of the state of US politics today. Plus its very funny and you get to see behind some of the big stunts that were leaked earlier this year.